One of the best parts of fall is the vibrant colors, many of which are reflected in the foods of the season. Jeanette’s wild rice salad with cranberries and nuts is the perfect fall side dish with colors bright enough for any holiday table. Your local appliance experts at Moore Appliance will detail how to make this tasty recipe and discuss some of its hidden health benefits.

A Healthy Holiday Side Dish: Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries and Nuts

As bright and vibrant as this savory wild rice salad can be, it’s more than just a pretty face. Wild rice salad with cranberries and nuts is bursting with nutritious fats, protein, fiber, and vitamins. Here are some of the benefits of this healthy holiday side dish and how wild rice and white rice compare.

Wild Rice vs White Rice: Which is Healthier?

While both wild and white rice are considered healthy foods that are gluten-free and low in calories, wild rice has more nutrients. Magnesium, Zinc, Phosphate, and Vitamin B6 are just some of the nutrients natural to wild rice. There are so many vitamins and nutrients in wild rice that it’s considered a nutrient-dense food that’s an excellent option for plant-based protein. 

Health Benefits of Cranberries and Nuts

In addition to wild rice, this tossed salad with cranberries and nuts also gets valuable nutrients from these two ingredients. Cranberries are rich in fiber and Vitamins C, E, and K1. They also contain nutrients like copper and manganese. Cashews, pecans, and pistachios are some of the best nuts for salads, rich in fiber, copper, and magnesium. They also contain heart-healthy unsaturated fats that lower the risk of heart disease.

Wild Rice Salad With Cranberries and Nuts Recipe

What makes this the best wild rice salad recipe? Not only is it loaded with color, vitamins, and nutrients, it’s also easy to prepare. Once the wild rice is soaked, the recipe comes together in under an hour. It also contains basic, easy-to-find ingredients that won’t add to your holiday stress. Here’s how to make Jeanette’s wild rice salad with cranberries and nuts:

Ingredients:

1 cup wild rice, rinsed
¼ cup raw pecan halves
¼ cup pistachios
¼ cup whole raw cashews
¼ cup diced red onion
Several inner stalks of celery with leaves, sliced
3 green onions, sliced
½ cup dried cranberries

Dressing:

¼ cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. honey
Salt and pepper to taste

wild rice salad with cranberries and nuts

Image from Healthy Gluten-Free Family

 

Place rice in a large bowl and add just enough water to completely cover the rice. Let stand for 8 hours before draining. Bring a quart of water and teaspoon of salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add rice and reduce heat to low. Allow rice to simmer for 30-40 minutes, until just tender or al dente.

While rice is simmering, place pecans and cashews in a large skillet and toast over medium heat until slightly brown. Remove from heat and cool before chopping. Place rice in a large bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients.

Combine dressing ingredients until emulsified, pouring half over the salad. Refrigerate until chilled, adding the remainder of the dressing just before serving.

Jeanette’s wild rice salad with cranberries and nuts is so nutritious there’s no need to feel guilty about indulging in dessert. Her recipe for berry cobbler pie or brownies with cookie dough frosting can be the perfect ending to a weeknight supper or holiday celebration.